Overwhelmed? Maybe you DON’T need to deal with it.
I came across an interesting insight the other day: the idea that not all problems need to be solved right now– or ever.
Maybe sometimes it’s okay to let some things that are confusing or ambiguous just ‘be’ so I can either work on some more important tasks or give myself more time to develop clarity on those confusing problems.
And in letting them ‘be’, I can liberate my brain from dealing with the emotional strife of not being able to get to them.
How do you know the difference?
The big ones are the things you just cannot tolerate in your life. If you simply cannot stomach another day in your soul-sucking job, if you cannot tolerate a toxic client, if you need to pay the bills.
The little things are urgent but not important. Maybe things that you feel that businesses like you do, but that don’t get you the outcome you need right now. (ehem, social media).
So much of my business journey has been learning to manage stress. And by manage, I mean let it go. Because I’ve found that it really is a choice. I am not a better business owner by being worried all the time. There’s a difference between alert, fully aware, intense even vs being stressed out.
One is positive and constructive, the other is just not helpful- or healthful for that matter.
And it IS possible. We’ve all been there when we are be-bopping along in our lives, with whatever stress we are dealing with when BAM! Some emergency happens with our family and suddenly- there is only one thing that matters. On the positive side, I remember being stressed one morning 10 years ago, my husband proposed to me that day, and WHOOSH, only one thing mattered. All the stress was gone. So much in fact, that I didn’t show up to a consultation with a potential client. Yup, I stood them up. And that just doesn’t happen in my brain.
So you know it can happen, but you can also choose to make it happen with practice. You aren’t forgetting them exactly, just healthily procrastinating on them- but also wiping out the emotional baggage they carry.
So if you are dealing with crushing overwhelm, I am giving you permission to let some things go.
- You don’t need to stay on top of your social media if there are pressing things.
- You don’t need to respond to that email NOW,
- You don’t need to go to that fourth open house this week.
- Hey, you don’t even need to grow your business if something else matters more right now.
You and your business will be just fine.
We’ve all heard that word ‘balance’. Blech.
I’ve got a growing business, a growing family, a team of employees, and some pretty ambitious goals. It’s a lot manage and balance seems like something always out of reach. The word balance makes my eyeball twitch.
To me, balance isn’t the goal, it’s meaningful progress and support to what matters to me: my family, my business, my employees, and my person creative fulfillment.
It’s not a static place to get to, it is constant adjustments in a never-ending process that lights me up and generates its own energy.
I cannot juggle, but I can throw one ball up in the air and catch it. The kind of juggle I deal with now looks like this:
- fully switching attention to one focus,
- making meaningful progress,
- transitioning to a new focus by fully mentally releasing the last focus,
- and being present on the next area of focus.
So I can switch between about 1-3 focuses a day before I need some good ole rest, but I’ve got a bag full of other things to juggle when it is their time.
And when it is time to juggle something else, I have to put the current ball away to take out a new ball. Because if I spread my focus over two things, I’LL LOSE MY BALLS!
Here’s the important part though, While focusing on one thing, I cannot let the weight of another focus leak into my current focus. That’s how overwhelm and stress creeps in.
And every now and then, lots of balls have to be out of the bag. For example if I’m on site and sh** is goin down! Moments like these I have the strength to handle it. And it doesn’t crush me. And I can wrap up a job and be excited about doing it again. Because it’s not about being stressed- I just have to focus on throwing and catching my one ball.
PS, if you were wanting to catch the webinar but didn’t get a chance- you can check it out here! In it, we will go over how we make a fast floral wedding design proposal that is super effective at landing clients. Sign up here:
Because making proposals should NOT be one of those things that stress you out.
Tips to evolve your business when a ‘life volcano’ erupts.
Life is full of transitions and shifts. Same goes for our businesses. But in a time when we feel pressed to find a niche, express your super focused brand, and do that thing consistently so you don’t confuse your audience, it can feel uncomfortable to allow your business to evolve with you.
At Lola Creative, we’ve (ehem, I’ve) had a few. First, just transitioning from a well paid corporate career with years of experience and a big ole bill of student loans to a fledgling floral design business took some guts. Then realizing we were more of a full event design company that makes custom fabrications was another turn. My biggest life/ business volcano however was when, almost a year ago,my volcano of a belly erupted into an actual human being. That has been the most startling adjustment to my business.
There’s a lot of trash-talk out there about the greedy business person trying to scrape what they can, but a lot of the folks in this industry left higher paying work for their current business. Why? Freedom maybe, greater connection with their customers, greater responsibility, to be able to create something of high quality and value, to do something that makes their heart all big and juicy, to work hard and watch that hard work pay off. Check, check, check, check….To do something that felt right, every day. To have your work and life aligned. To feel like work is your ‘life’s work.’ PURPOSE!
Parenthood, business changes, the loss of a loved one, these things can take your precious alignment and smash its contented face in. So, if that’s happened, or happening to you, here are some tips I’ve found to be helpful when what you thought IS, is no longer.
- Practice Patience. I know the ‘be patient’ advice can make your eyeballs twitch. But practice again and again to be patient with yourself. You need time to get your bearings. Keep things bobbing along or lay low until you gain clarity. If you just had a life volcano erupt, you may need MONTHS, to get back to where you feel you are clear headed.
- Feel like your path has split into two? Be Curious and find Creativity in both. Get to know each with respect to the other. Can I go this way and still maintain this way? How does it feel to do what I was doing while also giving attention to this new path?
- Find Your Core Driver. For me, becoming a parent felt like I might have to give up my creative life. Being a present, not-frazzled mom was paramount, and early on, I felt I could not do both parenting and running a business well. If you find that change is necessary, try distilling what is essential about your business. In what ways does it contribute to your sense of purpose and joy? How can you still get those things while still thriving in your new direction? When you are focused on the purpose, the means is not as important
- Release your identity. It’s hard to accept your purpose and the changes that truly support it if you are locked up in identity illusions. Stuff like, “well I’m a ______, it’s what I do, it’s who I am.” Puhleeez. You are a shifting, spreading, throbbing hunk of life and passion. You are a creative force, girl, no matter what you change. It’s okay to be indescribable.
- Break the Rules. Maybe your path isn’t going to look like you thought it would. Maybe your way of doing things doesn’t look like the way others are doing it. Perhaps there are social rules that don’t really fit into your new world. Liiiiiiike, maybe your baby hangs out in a baby corral at the workshop and gets used to wearing noise canceling ear muffs when you have to use the power tools…. just an example.
- Accept the Seasons. If not now, then maybe later. Or maybe not. When later is now, maybe something else. It actually is all-good. It is okay to take a break. It’s okay to stop and it’s okay to start again. It’s okay to say no to one path to fully embrace the new one.
Messy. Pretty. Pretty Messy. Glorious. Puzzling. Filled with light. Pissing rain. Whatever. Bring it on.
Mad Science Themed Photoshoot and Weirdos.
The birth of my son had a dramatic impact on my business. I’m not talking about having less time (though that certainly is true as well). I gained a new urgency that every project I work on needs to be aligned with what our business is all about. It’s guts. It needs to be meaningful and for Lola Creative, that sort of means it needs to be…. weird.
Our clients… well…they are kind of weirdos.
Just like we are.
I’m not saying we all are wearing our underwear outside our clothing or working our Halloween costumes into regular work rotation. It’s just that our clients seem to want to connect with a little bit of the delightfully unexpected. They want newness and imagination. Something that on paper, might seem a bit odd.
I’ve always known this about our people, but I got to thinking… maybe we are not clear enough on this.
So, to make sure our freak flags are big and loud, we’ve put together some new imagery for our main site that exhibits the values of our company. They are:
Guts, Brains, and Imagination
This mad science shoot is photographed by Easton Richmond and features the concept of ‘Brains.’ The brains component of our values identifies how essential research and planning is to our process. Because weird without good planning can be, well, scary.
Enjoy the photos! I’m going to go nurture my inner weirdo.
Thanks to all who participated in this shoot!
Creative Direction, Set, Props, and Styling: Lola Creative
Photography: Easton Richmond
Hair and Makeup: Jamyrlyn Mallory
Location: Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Market
Model: Lauren M. Kulbeth